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Fantasy Science Fiction

(Continuation of my other story, 'A New Way to Heal.' I recommend reading that one first.)

“Sorry! Are you okay?” I reach out a hand to the teenage girl I bumped into. Wincing in sympathy, I pull her up. 

The girl looks about my age. Thirteen, maybe, or fourteen? She's got a way about her that makes her look older than she probably is. She dusts off her jeans and pulls her princessy blond hair into a ponytail. She’s dressed for chilly temperatures- puffy periwinkle vest, long sleeves, scarf even. How is she not sweating in this weather? “Yeah, I’m good.” She eyes me dubiously. “How fast were you going? Are you training for a race or something?”

I laugh nervously and drop her hand. “Um, yeah. You know, track team and all that. Tournament this weekend.”

“What school do you go to?”

“Austen Middle.”

“I didn’t know there was a track team there.”

Great, Amelia. Great. Now you just might have to start a track team. 

“I- I just mean, there might be. The gym teachers are talking, and thinking about starting one. Next weekend.” My toes curl, and I bounce in my flip-flops. Flip-flops? Who runs in flip-flops? I chide myself.

“Well, I better get going. Bye.” The girl waves as she walks around the corner. That was close. What was she doing in an alley anyway? What was I doing? Stupid! It was only a few flights of stairs! You could have made it!

I should have listened to Dad. Of course, I didn’t need to tell him that. 

I take a deep breath. Brush back a strand of curly black hair. Focus on the apartment I left only two minutes ago- I can go to the supermarket later. Zero in on my bedroom-

You know what? I’ll just take the stairs. Take Dad’s advice for once, especially after the scare I had with that girl. 

I clomp up the stairs three at a time and throw myself into Apartment 3G. My cat Clem meows, stretching out on the sofa. I gather her into my arms, letting her wiggle around until she’s comfortable, and pet her till she purrs. 

For calming-down purposes, almost nothing beats a purring cat. I take her into my room, closing the door behind us.

Suddenly I hear a key in the lock. Is Dad home early? 

The door opens and footsteps pad in the hall, but they don’t sound like his, they sound… lighter. And quicker. Then I hear someone yell, "Hello?" in a voice decidedly not my father's.

Is this really happening? A burglar? Clem still cradled in my arms, I examine my window. Nope, we're too high up, and the fire escape is too far below. Fear crawls into me, my pulse pounds frantically, and I feel goosebumps prickle on my skin. 

The footsteps get louder… and closer… and... oh my gosh, they’re right outside my door!

Scrambling, I try to hide behind my bed. No, you idiot, just leave! 

Okay. Don’t freak out. Focus. Relax. Hold onto your cat. Think of outside. Think of the alleyway, where you always go to skip the stairs. The alley where you crashed into-

With the force of a thousand storms, the door swings open and bangs against the wall. I scream and clutch poor Clem so hard her eyes bug out. And the person standing there is-

It’s her!

The girl I crashed into this morning is here, staring at me with her eyes wide in shock.

“What the heck?”

She blinks at me. She looks about as surprised as I am. Clem screeches and claws her way out of my arms, racing out of the room. 

I stare at the girl, waiting for a response. 

“Um,” she says awkwardly, stumbling over her words. “I think I have the wrong apartment. Is this 3G? Where Dr. Miller lives?”

“Dr. Miller died two years ago,” I say, glancing around the room for something to use as self-defense. Where’s a baseball bat when you need one? “My dad and I live here now.”

Her face pales. “What? B-but…”

“Did you know her? How could you not know that? Two years and nobody told you?”

She ducks her head to hide her tears.

What do you do in this situation? Someone breaks into your home and starts crying? Do I comfort her or call the police? 

I decide to hold off on dialing nine-one-one and timidly step forward to put a hand on her shoulder. She sniffles. 

“There, there,” I mutter while looking away. The awkwardness is so thick you could cut it with a knife. I grab the tissue box beside my bed and hand it to her. She studies it for a moment before yanking a fluffy tissue and pressing it to her face.

“Sorry,” she mumbles. 

“No worries.”

A beat of silence passes. She sinks to the floor and I sit on my bed. 

“The funny thing is, I just did this whole journey-of-self-discovery thing. It was supposed to help me heal.” She hiccups a laugh.

“Did it?”

“It did. And now I have to start all over.” She draws in a deep breath. “I’m May.”

“Amelia.”

“Did you know Dr. Miller? I was her- lab assistant.”

Why had she hesitated before saying lab assistant? “Yeah. She and my dad were friends. They were both scientists who studied special abilities in humans. My dad’s name is Dr. Murphy.”

“Wait. Murphy? Mack Murphy?”

"Uh-huh. You met him in the lab?”

May gawks at me. “You’re her! You’re the teleporting girl!” I feel the color in my face drain. 

“No, no I’m not. That’s- that’s stupid.” And now my face is going red again. I really need to get better at lying. 

“No, this is a good thing!” She fixes me with blue eyes tinged with red(from all her crying). She grasps my hands and her crumpled tissue falls lightly to the floor. “You know how you got those powers? I got mine the same way!”

My tragic superhero backstory, according to my dad, happened like this: Thirteen years ago, ten babies were found in a makeshift lab in Kentucky. The lab itself was in someone’s basement, with test tubes full of mystery acid and stolen medical equipment. I don’t know whose house. Some whackjob with a curiosity for strange abilities and an extremely morbid mind. Anyone who does know is forbidden by law to speak of it. Anyway, one day the person accidentally left the basement window open While he was gone, a neighbor heard a baby’s cries and went to investigate. She managed to get a glimpse of the medical horror story- several tiny infants, some of them almost glowing, surrounded by beakers and bottles and mystery machines. 

The person experimenting on them was arrested, and the babies re-homed to people who were deemed able to handle their abilities. My dad was one of them. 

Is this girl- May- like me?

“The basement in Kentucky?” I ask. She nods vigorously. A happy smile stretches across her face. And though my brain is telling me to slow down, I can’t help but grin in return.

“So what’s your ability?”

“Time travel,” she replies. 

My jaw drops. “Awesome!”

“Sorta,” she mumbles.

“That. Is. So. Cool! How does that even work? Wait, wait- back in first grade, I got a really bad school picture. I mean, really bad. Could you and I go back and-”

“No. I can’t change anything from the past.” May’s happy face is waning. She picks at a hole in her jeans. 

“Oh. Then what can you do?” 

She shrugs. “Relive memories. If I forget something or just want a few minutes of peace on a busy day, I can take myself to a different time.”

“Wow. So time stops when you’re somewhere else?”

May shakes her head. “That’s why I didn’t know Dr. Miller was- was gone. When I was a kid, she tried to teach me, but it took a long time. I finally did it when I turned eleven. But… but I decided to stay in the past.”

“Your journey of self-discovery,” I say, remembering. 

“Right.”

I should ask about it. No, I shouldn’t. She’ll tell me when she wants to. Until then, I’ll just listen. 

“So, you need a place to stay?” 

“I guess so.”

I smile. Brush back a strand of my hair. Take her hand. 

“Well, then,” I say. “Welcome back.”


August 25, 2020 00:31

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48 comments

B. W.
20:01 Sep 10, 2020

Katey i think i'm getting a bit nervous about some things

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Kate Ulrich
21:38 Sep 10, 2020

Nervous about what? What's wrong?

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B. W.
21:40 Sep 10, 2020

It's about all the stories, i'm not nervous that they'd be bad or anything (maybe the Reedsy friends thing a bit-) but i'm nervous that i won't be able to make any of the stories with the new prompts tomorrow. because what if they can't fit with the new prompts or something?

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Kate Ulrich
21:42 Sep 10, 2020

Aw don't worry. I get stressed about the prompts too, but what I find when none of them stick is that if a prompt doesn't feel right when I write the story, I don't like my story. I guess if the prompts don't work, that's that, and you just wait for next week. But I'll be praying that the ones tomorrow work for you! :)

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B. W.
21:49 Sep 10, 2020

i never expected the "lights out" prompts and thought i wouldn't be able to make anything from it but i guess i sorta have been able to. But i guess im still worried that tomorrow's might be a bit worse to work with for my ideas but thank you ^^ i just hope i'm able to do the crossover and a few others ive been excited lately for em

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Kate Ulrich
21:39 Sep 10, 2020

Sorry it takes me such a long time to reply, I don't spend a lot of time on my computer.

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B. W.
16:02 Sep 04, 2020

Kate :D check out my story that i just finished its called "useless" and tell me what you think ^^

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Kate Ulrich
16:36 Sep 04, 2020

OK! :)

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B. W.
13:40 Sep 04, 2020

Heyyy kate its almost time :)

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Kate Ulrich
14:46 Sep 04, 2020

:)

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B. W.
14:54 Sep 04, 2020

:)

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Sandra Claros
22:59 Sep 02, 2020

I couldn't imagine a different end for this awesome story, as it is so difficult to find self- discovery.

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Kate Ulrich
17:25 Sep 04, 2020

Thank you!

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B. W.
18:40 Sep 01, 2020

Heya Kate, have you thought of the the plot and all that fully for your part 3 and 4? if ya haven't i'd be glad to help you with something ^^ i have a lot of ideas tbh

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Kate Ulrich
23:47 Sep 01, 2020

I would definitely appreciate some ideas! I'm kind of stuck on the stories and might only submit one this week. Thank you!

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B. W.
23:55 Sep 01, 2020

Okay so i think it should mostly be introductions to 2 new characters or just 1 character so heres my ideas :) 1. the two main characters are doing whatever you choose when they see something strange this is the introduction of one of the other characters who is able to shape-shift they can call themselves "shifty" but they don't know the real name and this is when they decide to form a team 2. this is for the fourth part with the new team something strange seems to be happening and they find another character messing with their powers as ...

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Kate Ulrich
00:52 Sep 02, 2020

Those are both great. THANK YOU again for helping me, I'm excited to write these. And if you have any more ideas let me know.

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B. W.
00:57 Sep 02, 2020

No problem ^^ if i get any more ideas for it ill be sure to go and tell you :) i was also wondering if you could maybe help me again as well? i hope im not much of a bother though. its not with my demi-god series though its with something completely different. its still a fantasy and i just need some ideas in general for it the only things i got for it right now is that the main character is a princess or something LIKE a princess and there may or may not be powers im still deciding on that because i don't wanna get to close to something else

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B. W.
16:08 Sep 02, 2020

If thats alright

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Kate Ulrich
17:21 Sep 02, 2020

Sorry I didn't respond sooner! What time period are you thinking for your story? Like the old-fashioned, medieval princess, or modern or even futuristic? Does it take place during war or peace? And I always get excited when you ask me for ideas, I love getting to help. :)

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B. W.
18:40 Sep 01, 2020

Heya Kate, have you thought of the the plot and all that fully for your part 3 and 4? if ya haven't i'd be glad to help you with something ^^ i have a lot of ideas tbh

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B. W.
01:40 Aug 25, 2020

This is still really good like the other one, you did great with it. I don't really know how to give advice that much but im not sure if you need any. i'm gonna give you a 10/10

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Kate Ulrich
01:43 Aug 25, 2020

Thanks!! I appreciate it.

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B. W.
01:44 Aug 25, 2020

No problem ^^ just continue to write more stories they'd be great as well

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